Presidential inauguration may drive further demand
Chinese merchandise manufacturers have been flooded with orders following Republican Donald Trump's victory in the U.S. presidential election, according to several domestic business owners. Experts predict the orders will keep flowing in to the first quarter of 2017, as the presidential inauguration in January may stimulate another round of demand.
Yao Dandan, the owner of Shaoxing Jiahao Banner and Handicrafts Co in Shaoxing, East China's Zhejiang Province, said he has received thousands of orders for Trump-themed flags since he won the presidential election on November 9.
Most of the items are sold mainly through cross-border e-commerce platforms like Alibaba and Amazon. As of Monday noon, the total sales volume for Trump flags has exceeded 20,000, according to Yao.
Although the president-elect has proposed imposing higher tariffs on Chinese imports, his win has, contrarily, brought a huge bulk of Chinese-made products into the U.S., as most of Yao's clients are Chinese-American.
"My workers are busy printing, folding and shipping the flags all day, but even so we have difficulties meeting the soaring demand," he told the Global Times on Monday.
Yao charges 4.5 yuan ($0.65) to 5.5 yuan for the smallest flag, which his clients sell in the U.S. at $1.50 to $2.50.
Yao said the cheap price and good quality is the reason his clients choose the "Made in China" products.
In the wake of Trump's surprising win, the company has reaped at least 10,000 yuan in profits, Yao said. Meanwhile, the manufacturer has quickly halted the production of flags with Hillary Clinton's logo, because "there is no such overseas demand."
"Of course I support Trump more than Clinton, because I am making a fortune on his winning," said Yao, noting that signs of the result surfaced prior to the election, as orders for Trump-adorned items were twice as big as those for Clinton, which prompt him to increase Trump flags' production beforehand.
Trump-themed flags have sold out from another merchandise maker, Zhengjiang-based Yiwu Qizhao E-commerce Trading Company, according to Li Jinbo, the company's manager.
Li's factory has also scaled up to catch up with the skyrocketing demand.
As of Monday, the manufacturer had sold 50,000 to 60,000 Trump goods to overseas clients in the five days after the election result was announced.
"I will not produce Clinton flags anymore, because I made around 2,000 flags two months before the election, but they have yet to sell out due to the shrinking demand," Li told the Global Times on Monday.
In addition to flags, Chinese merchandise with Trump connections, including masks, badges and hats, are also selling well in the U.S. market.
"In contrast to the gloomy market performance of Clinton products, the sale of Trump hats has at least doubled since his victory in the presidential election," Zhang Chenbin, the manager of Zhejianag-based Yixing Cap Factory, told the Global Times on Monday.
Zhang didn't disclose sales figures, citing a "limitation of time." Zhang said he is racing to produce more hats as overseas demand rises.
"The current buyers for Trump's merchandises are mainly his supporters in the U.S., who are hailing Trump's winning. Hanging out flags on the apartments and street, and wearing hats, badges and masks is a way to express their frenzied emotion," He Weiwen, an executive council member at the China Society for the WTO, told the Global Times on Monday.
Future soaring demand
He predicts that the high demand for products with Trump's logo will last through to January next year and even persist into the first quarter of 2017, leaving plenty of time for Chinese manufactures to make a profit.
"Trump will officially step up into office on January 20, 2017 and holds an inauguration the same day, which provides another spur to the already robust selling season," He said.
In January 2009, around 2 million people flooded the streets of Washington DC to watch Barack Obama's swearing-in, setting a new record. It is likely that Trump's inauguration will draw more crowds, He predicted.
Yao agreed, "On expectation of future demand, I am also considering enlarging the production lines."